The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
by Alan Bradley. This was really a neat story recommended to me by a co-worker (thanks Sunitha!). The story
is a murder mystery set in the English countryside in 1950. The main character and principal
problem solver is an 11 year old girl named Flavia de Luce, the youngest of three daughters of
widower, and who lives in a great estate manor.
What makes Flavia unique is her love (and understanding) of chemistry owing to a great uncle's laboratory built, and used by no one else, in the manor. It is Flavia that discovers the body in the garden, and she goes from the library, to the police station, to wherever the trail takes her on her bicycle, to put all the pieces together and solve the crime.
This was a very enjoyable read and I have already passed it on to my youngest daughter, to whom Flavia bears an un-canny resemblance..